Motorola Moto X review: Talk to me

GSMArena team, 23 August 2013.
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Tags: Motorola, Android

Introduction

As the first smartphone developed entirely after Google's purchase of Motorola, the Moto X arrives under the spotlight carrying great expectations. The smartphone is Motorola's first multi-carrier, high-profile launch in the United States since the days when the RAZR was still a flip phone. More recently, the company's devices have mostly been Verizon exclusives in North America, but we are glad that's not the case with its latest flagship.

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Motorola Moto X official photos

With the Moto X, Motorola has taken a rather unorthodox approach towards designing a top-shelf Android smartphone. Instead of focusing solely on putting together the most powerful hardware available on the market, Motorola's engineers have put more emphasis on ergonomics and software goodies. To top things off, the Motorola Moto X will be built in the United States with an unprecedented set of appearance customization options.

Here go the key features of the Motorola Moto X and its turn offs.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band UMTS/HSPA support
  • 100Mbps LTE with a second dedicated antenna
  • 4.7" 16M-color 720p RGB AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 316ppi pixel density; Gorilla Glass
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with stock UI
  • Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon Pro chipset with dual-core 1.7GHz Krait CPU; Adreno 320 GPU;
  • 10 MP autofocus ClearPixel camera with LED flash
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps with HDR, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • 2 MP front-facing camera with 1080p video recording
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac; Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS; GLONASS
  • 16/32GB of built-in storage; 2GB of RAM
  • microUSB port with USB host
  • Bluetooth v4.0 LE
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Dual-microphone noise cancellation
  • Touchless Control, Active Notifications
  • Ambient light; accelerometer; proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Superb handling and overall ergonomics
  • Moto Maker user customization program
  • 50GB of free Google Drive storage
  • 2,200mAh battery

Main disadvantages

  • More expensive than more powerful competitors
  • Non-expandable memory
  • Non user-accessible battery
  • Moto Maker is exclusive to AT&T at launch
  • No FM Radio

Only a quick look at the spec sheet of the Motorola Moto X is enough to tell us that the handset is not the typical Android flagship. Based on hardware specs alone, the smartphone fits the shoes of today's lower mid-range Android offerings better.

Curiously, we can't help but see great similarity between Motorola's unusual approach towards the design of the Moto X and the philosophy used so successfully by Apple with the iPhone. The Moto X puts powerful hardware second, and focuses on ergonomic and user experience (the voice control operation) instead. It's certainly a gamble, but it's one that might pay off nicely.

The one Moto X feature which its manufacturer is boasting about the most is Moto Maker. It offers you the option to design your own Moto X by choosing from hundreds of combinations and you also get to tune your boot animation and wallpaper before you have even received the smartphone. It is a clear sign that innovation hasn't dried up at Motorola, but we are yet to see how well it will be received by the market.

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Moto X live photos

As always, we'll kick the review off with an unboxing, followed by a design and build quality inspection.

Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include some of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our home office and test lab. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the device in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!

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